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Kolkata's Bhagvad Gita mass reading with PM Modi aims to create world records

Dismissing any political intent, organisers of “Ek Saath – Ek Lakh – Gita Path”, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in all probability, is expected to attend the much-talked-about Bhagavad Gita recitation programme in Kolkata on December 24.

The programme has been in the making for quite some time, with an attempt to have one lakh simultaneous Gita recitations. The Sanatan Sanskriti Sansad, Matilal Bharat Tirtha Seba Mission Ashram, and Akhil Bharatiya Sanskrit Porisad, the three organisers, in a joint press conference, said that this is the second edition of such an initiative.

To take place at Brigade Parade Ground, in the heart of the city, the programme will have Shankaracharya Sadananda Saraswati of Dwarka, who is expected to reach the city a few days in advance. Invitation has also been extended to the President. The organisers have written to the Bengal chief minister, requesting her participation.

Given the mobilisation, the programme is being talked about, with people eager to participate in large numbers, the organisers observed.

The venue is to have two stages – the “saanskrit”, and the other for “anushthan”. Invitations have been extended to around 1,500 sants and sadhus across the state. Over 50,000 conch shells are expected to be brought by the people for the programme.

Five adhyayas from Bhagavad Gita would be recited. This is expected to take around one and a half hours. The programme is open to anyone who loves Bhagavad Gita, the organisers added.

Those who maintain the dress code – white kurta, dhoti or pyjamas – will have seats in the front. A concern is that a state teachers’ eligibility test is also being held on said day, and may hinder the movement of devotees to the venue. The organisers are attempting to create three world records, including that of the largest mass reading of the Bhagavad Gita.

(Published 15 December 2023, 16:38 IST)

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